2016 has been a great year, but relatively quieter for me in the travel department. I only flew 106,505 butt-in-seat miles, and I’ve stopped chasing status on airlines. While Alaska maintains an interesting loyalty program, many of the ways I (ab)used the other frequent flyer programs are no longer that accessible, which drastically changes the value proposition of status and loyalty. Business class is still attainable via miles, but international first class is further out of reach, and I feel less of a desire to fly first class given how much I’ve already flown.
That being said, I did get to sample two fancy new products this year: Qatar’s A380 in first class and Etihad’s A380 in first class. I also had the chance to visit Qatar’s and Etihad’s first class lounges at their hubs, which were both great in different ways. The travel highlight of the year, though, was spending a couple of days on a durian farm in Penang, where I ate durian nonstop.
I don’t currently have much travel planned for 2017, but looking at the map, I’d love to explore the continents that I didn’t touch this past year: Africa, South America, and Australasia (Antarctica will likely have to wait until I’m much wealthier). Looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings!